National Music Centre Unveils Indigenous Music Week Programming and Permanent Exhibit on Musician Activists

By Aaron Brophy 6/5/19 |

ziibiwan is one of the acts at Indigenous Music Week — photo via ziibiwan website
The National Music Centre in Calgary has unveiled the programming for its Indigenous Music Week, happening at the Studio Bell from June 19 to 22, but it will be preceded by the reveal of a new permanent exhibit on June 14 named Speak Up! which focuses on Indigenous artists making social and political impacts in Canada. Some of the artists featured in this exhibit will include Jeremy Dutcher, iskwē, Northern Cree and Tanya Tagaq.

"The National Music Centre is committed to reconciliation through music and programs that inspire dialogue," said Adam Fox, NMC’s director of programs. "Indigenous Music Week is not only a celebration of music, but also an opportunity to initiate positive change."

Events happening during the week include a showcase of emerging Indigenous acts on June 20 featuring Bebe Buckskin, Diyet & The Love Soldiers and Carolina East, electronic artist/producer Ziibiwan and guitarist Dan Auger from industrial-punk act DRI HIEV's "Isitsiipotaako," an artist-in-residence workshop and afternoon performance from the pair on June 21, an showcase event that same evening featuring Black Belt Eagle Scout, Ansley Simpson, Ziibiwan and DRI HIEV, and Thundering Nations drum and dance performances and workshops in addition to live painting from Jesse Gouchey on June 22.

Opened in 2016, the National Music Centre not only houses a collection of more than 2,000 instruments, it also features themed music exhibits, hosts concerts and music events and provides artist-in-residence opportunities.

Admission to Indigenous Music Week events is free to visitors who identify as Indigenous or of Indigenous descent. Tickets can be purchased at the Studio Bell website.

Indigenous Music Week schedule below:
Indigenous Music in Canada Guided Tour
June 19-22, 2019, daily
Included with admission
Specialized tours will be offered during Indigenous Music Week that shine a light on the Indigenous artists and trailblazers featured inside Studio Bell, concluding at NMC’s latest exhibit, Speak Up!, showcasing Indigenous artists making social and political impacts in Canada, including Jeremy Dutcher, iskwē, Northern Cree, Tanya Tagaq, and more.
NMC, APTN and Canada’s Music Incubator present: Creators’ Circle
June 20, 2019, 1:00 pm
Included with admission
Three emerging Indigenous acts, Bebe Buckskin, Diyet & The Love Soldiers and Carolina East, will receive a customized three-day mentorship program designed to develop their careers. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the artists and their creative process during a public workshop. You can also see them perform live during Indigenous Day Live 2019, hosted by APTN, on June 21 at Fort Calgary.
Indigenous Music Week: Free admission for Indigenous people
June 21, 2019, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Free admission for Indigenous people
Free admission on June 21 will be offered to visitors who identify as Indigenous or of Indigenous descent. Reception will accept identification or declaration upon entry.

NMC, IRIM, and Sled Island present: AiR Workshop and Performance, Isitsiipotaako
June 21, 2019, 1:00 pm
Free admission for Indigenous people
Indigenous Resilience in Music (IRIM), National Music Centre (NMC) and Sled Island are pleased to present Isitsiipotaako, an Artist in Residence workshop and performance. Isitsiipotaako is a Blackfoot word that translates to "a song or sound that breaks silence." IRIM pairs Indigenous musicians with youth to inspire and encourage through music and traditional practices. Emerging electronic artist/producer Ziibiwan and Calgary guitarist Dan Auger (also of industrial-punk act DRI HIEV) are the participating artists.
NMC, Sled Island and IRIM present: Black Belt Eagle Scout, Ansley Simpson, and guests
June 21, 2019, 6:00 pm (doors), 6:45 pm (showtime)
$19 General, $14 NMC Members, or included with a Sled Pass
The National Music Centre (NMC), Sled Island and Indigenous Resilience in Music (IRIM) are pleased to present Black Belt Eagle Scout, Ansley Simpson, Ziibiwan, and DRI HIEV for a very special night of music. Saddle Creek Records helped announce a new, vital voice in music when it re-released Black Belt Eagle Scout’s debut Mother of My Children in 2018. The solo record by Portland’s Katherine Paul (born in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community) is a tidal wave of grief—for a lover, a friend taken too soon and the ongoing colonization of ancestral land—through imploring lyrics, hazy but tense guitar and Paul’s achingly tender voice. Singer-songwriter Ansley Simpson’s roots run deep. Her lyric-driven indie-folk tunes showcase the muscular warble of her voice and picturesque storytelling. Meanwhile, her composition runs anywhere from plaintive plucking to flourishes of experimental wash. She’s full of surprises, even when the surprise is how good she sounds with no frills added. Ziibiwan and DRI HIEV will open the show, and performances will be preceded by short film, A Love Letter to My Unborn Child, directed by Danni Black.

Indigenous Music Week: Saturday Celebration
June 22, 2019, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Included with admission
Enjoy music, art, and dance that celebrate the cultural diversity of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.Local Indigenous artist, Jesse Gouchey, will be onsite to complete a live painting and showcase some of his film and fashion work. Thundering Nations will perform drum and dance workshops, and Studio Bell will offer a tour focusing on Indigenous artists who’ve made an impact on music in Canada.

Watch a National Music Centre workshop with A Tribe Called Red

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